Thanks Mod. I'll give your links a spin when I get a mo. I found the whole thing fascinating and was just reminded by the post to find out more about how they do it. A scan of the links indicates that my cursory wonder then was only scratching the tip of the iceberg. The complexity is probably even more immense than my knowledge-lite of programming allows. (It was the programming aspect that caught me most - the engineer in me took the mechanical aspects for *blush* granted)
We are products of a mindless universe. We are here, hanging about, trying to figure out what it's all about, and then we come to understand that it's not about anything at all.
Beautiful! (The rest of your story as well.) You are a poet, Robin.
I think RAZD is right, the other option is just living or just not thinking about it much.
I don't remember giving much thought to purpose in my life BC. There were things I liked to do and I tried to do them, and things I didn't like to do and I tried to avoid them, and things I knew I must do so I did them, and that was about it for purpose. Just following one's own inclinations isn't exactly finding a purpose is it? Or is it? Meaning is another thing, however. I did want meaning and couldn't find any of that either.
"My life BC"?? Come on Faith, I know you're not the youngest, but surely you can't be that old?!
But seriously, that was a joy to read. I don't know why really. I mean, you're not saying anything particularly profound there, but yet the flow of your sentences makes them read like something out of the memoirs of a philosophical giant. Have you ever considered studying philosophy? I think you and Robin should pair up. You two would make a wonderful team writing philosophical poetic prose. Your writing, Robin's, and that of some of the others, is why I keep coming back to EvC. That, and the intellectually stimulating discussions.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.
Since I'm currently reading Nisargadatta's book I AM THAT, I'll make another futile attempt of presenting what I see as an alternative to beliefs either religious or nihilistic.
Nisargadatta: The source of consciousness cannot be an object in consciousness. To know the source is to be the source. When you realize that you are not the person, but the pure and calm witness, and that fearless awareness is your very being, you are the being...
Questioner: Shapes and names are all of one and the the same God?
N: Again, it all depends on how you look at it. On the verbal level everything is relative. Absolutes should be experienced not discussed. ... Q: Does it mean that the Unknown is inaccessible?
N: Oh, no. The Supreme is the easiest to reach for it is your very being. It is enough to stop thinking and desiring anything, but the Supreme. ...
Q: Why do desires arise at all?
N: Because you imagine that you were born, and that you will die if you do not take care of your body. Desire for embodied existence is the root-cause of trouble.
The vast complexity of the world captures our attention. The mystery of ourselves gets ignored as are fascination with the manifest universe developes. The meaninglessness can serve to direct our attention back to our basic nature. Dissatisfaction in the dream state can function to help awakening.
The meaning is not out there in the world. Nor is it even in the organism as desires, feelings, ideas. It is in that which is the seeing and thus can't see itself.
Thank you, Parasomnium, I also appreciate your writing, and I'm thoroughly smitten with Robin's writing. Another one here whose writing grabs my attention is Omnivorous. It makes it worth it to take some time crafting sentences knowing there are people around who are sensitive to such things. It's true, though, you can make something trivial sound important if you express it elegantly.
Another one here whose writing grabs my attention is Omnivorous.
I couldn't agree more. Omnivorous is a sage.
It makes it worth it to take some time crafting sentences knowing there are people around who are sensitive to such things.
I knew there was something we had in common!
It's true, though, you can make something trivial sound important if you express it elegantly.
Well, I wouldn't say what you wrote is trivial. I especially liked
quote:Just following one's own inclinations isn't exactly finding a purpose is it? Or is it?
The "or is it?" gave it a nice twist. It reminds me of Stephen Fry's writing. Now don't be offended, but he's a gay, atheist (probably communist and terrorist as well) writer/actor/comedian/tv-presentor/genial personality/my favourite writer. Speaking of expressing things elegantly!
I'll make another futile attempt of presenting what I see as an alternative to beliefs either religious or nihilistic.
Your posts are not futile at all. I enjoy them. My problem is that it's very difficult for me to think in "non-dualistic" terms(in your sense of the word). I can't imagine there not being subjects and objects, things and beings.
I believe it is one of the few bright points left of this website.
I don't know how "bright" it is, but thanks.
Have you thought about the validity of existentialism? Or does it seem to you that creating a purpose for oneself is foolish.
One might call my viewpoint "existentialism." The term just doesn't appeal to me much. And anyway it means a lot of different things. There's even such a thing as "Christian" existentialism (Kierkegaard). But you're right: a simple definition of "existentialism" is that you recognize the lack of purpose, and so you make up your own, with full knowledge that this is what you are doing. In such a case, one lives "authentically." I accept that.
Creating a purpose is not foolish: it's inevitable. A very common overall life purpose is to "get safe." It's impossible to achieve, but one can obtain relative, temporary safety. This is not an exalted purpose like altruism, but it's certainly natural.
Your reasoning may understandably be "All purposes are equal, because purposes are of a subjective nature due to value" (equally meaningless) which is truth preserving but the last sentence from my excerpt of my Argument segues into another important point of my beliefs.
Yes, that is my reasoning. Viewed objectively, all purposes are equal, whether it be collecting matchboxes or finding a cure for cancer. I'm not certain what you mean by "truth preserving."
I however probably would not last as you have
No problem. Just stock up on alcoholic beverages.
Altruism is the greatest of purposes IMO it rises above any other equally meaningless purpose.
I wish I didn't laugh at remarks like this. But it is funny. Life is purposeless, so we make our own purposes and that way we're authentic, but we still need to render ourselves unconscious to tolerate it.
what most interested me were the pretty girls in their hats nearby. It was a beautiful experience but certainly not a religious one.
Many of the young men whom I talk with have reported to me that one of the main reasons they attend church is because of pretty women. The Lord works in mysterious ways!
Everyone is drawn to church by an unfullfilled need. When, as is often happens, the church lets us down, we occasionally give up, thinking to ourselves that we ARE still in Kansas and there is no magic kingdom.
One could also argue that existensialism and/or nihilism are merely safe places to never be anxious.
I would rather dies believing in something worth believing in than to die conclusing that this life is all there is.
For now, however, Im content to get on with living.